BERKELEY – With the end of the summer league approaching, Cal baseball players Chris Paul and Brian Celsi have put together stellar semi-pro seasons for the St. Cloud (Minn.) Rox and the Fayetteville (N.C.) SwampDogs, respectively.
Paul, who will be a junior this coming year for David Esquer’s Golden Bears, is currently batting .313 (78-for-249) in 61 games with eight doubles, two triples, four home runs and is second on the Rox with 30 RBI. He is joined on the Rox by two more Bears, sophomore to be Devin Pearson and redshirt freshman right-hander Jordan Talbot. Outfielder Pearson is batting .264 (38-for-144) in 46 games with four doubles, two triples, 17 RBI and seven stolen bases. Talbot has pitched in 14 games (0-2) with a 3.62 ERA and has 19 strikeouts and only five walks in 27.1 innings.
Celsi, who is teammates with fellow Cal sophomore Mitchell Kranson on the SwampDogs, is batting .298 with 11 doubles in 50 games and leads his squad with 37 RBI and 12 stolen bases. He competed in the Coastal Plain League All-Star Game on July 8 and in the bottom of the ninth inning with the East Division team trailing the West by a run, he knocked in the tying run and sent the game into extra-innings. Celsi’s dominant performance with two hits and a stolen base would help lead the East to the 3-2 extra-inning victory and earned him Offensive Player of the Game honors.
On June 24, Celsi got a chance to compete against the USA National Team, going 3-for-4 versus Team USA for the SwampDogs.
Additional Bears putting together solid summer seasons include Brenden Farney, Kyle Porter and Dylan Nelson in the Alaska League; and Nick Halamandaris, Colin Monsour and Michael Lowden in the Northwoods League.
Farney will be a junior for Esquer’s squad in 2014 and as a second baseman for the Mat-Su Miners batted .269 (25-for-93) with five doubles, two home runs and 12 RBI. He was especially hot for the Miners during the Alaska League Tournament, going 8-for-16 with two doubles and two RBI. Farney was also a member of the North Squad during the 2013 Alaska League All-Star Game.
Senior left-hander Porter and junior right-hander Nelson pitched for the Anchorage Glacier Pilots this summer. Porter was named second-team All-Alaska League after finishing 2-3 with a 2.97 ERA in six starts, striking out 30 batters in 36.1 innings with only eight walks. He got a no decision in a start during the Alaska League Tournament, only giving up two hits in 6.0 innings with one run, two walks and four strikeouts. Porter was a member South squad during the Alaska League All-Star Game as well.
Nelson started two games in the Alaska League Tourney, going 1-1 with three strikeouts in 11.2 innings. For the summer, he was 2-2 with a 3.58 ERA and had 23 strikeouts with only nine walks in 32.2 innings.
Sophomore first baseman/outfielder Nick Halamandaris, in his first summer in the Northwoods League, is batting .260 (46-for-177) with seven doubles, five home runs and 33 RBI in 52 games for the Wilmer (Minn.) Stingers. Sophomore right-hander Colin Monsour and junior right-hander Michael Lowden are members of the La Crosse Loggers. Monsour is 3-3 in nine starts with a 3.49 ERA, and has 37 strikeouts in 56.2 innings. On June 2, he was named League Pitcher of the Night when he held the Wisconsin Rapids Rafters scoreless over 6.1 innings with two hits. Reliever Lowden has made 19 appearances with three saves and a 2.77 ERA. He was 28 strikeouts and only seven walks in 35.2 innings.